Ahmad Abu Laban
Ahmad Abu Laban being interviewed by FOX TV (2006)
In 1948 his family emigrated to Egypt, and he grew up there. In 1969 he graduated as a mechanical engineer. In 1974 he married his cousin Inam; the couple has 7 children. He studied Islamic theology with scholars in different Muslim countries. He was employed in the Persian Gulf oil industry from 1970 to 1982, and in a contracting company in Nigeria from 1982 to 1984. He contributed to Islamic projects in education in different states of Nigeria. He immigrated to Denmark in 1984 and lives there today.
Abu Laban is persona non grata in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt because of his Islamist views. He is a well-known character in the Danish media for his often radical statements about Islam and the integration of immigrants into the Danish society.
[Muhammad cartoons controversy
Ahmed Abu Laban became involved in the issue of the Muhammad cartoons in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. In November 2005 he was one of the leaders of a delegation that toured the Middle East to ask for support, one of the factors that sparked the widespread anger in the region in early 2006. Along with Akhmad Akkari, he authored the Akkari-Laban Dossier which was used on that tour.
Three additional “far more offensive” images were added to the list of cartoons actually published, in the dossier handed out during this tour. Abu Laban is thought responsible for adding those images to the dossier. (Akkari later explained that the three drawings had been added to “give an insight in how hateful the atmosphere in Denmark is towards Muslims.”)
It was subsequently suggested, in articles published by CanadaFreePress and WorldNetDaily, that Abu Laben may have been covertly promoting an Islamist agenda, including providing political and financial support to Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. An interview of the Imam with Dan Abrams of MSNBC explains his position: MSNBC interview